Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Stories by Mel Cooke

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

While there are comedians who will gleefully let a Jamaican curse word - or two, or more - rip during a performance, Owen 'Blakka' Ellis is not one of them. And that was his stance even before his public statement of being a Christian earlier this...

Published:Friday | July 28, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

From 9 a.m. today to 2 a.m. tomorrow, the coastal town where electricity and the automobile were first introduced to Jamaica, will host its fifth annual Black River Day.Put on by the Black River Chapter of the St Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce, along...

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

This is not going to be a glowing review of Morgan Heritage's latest album, Avrakedabra, a copy of which turned up on the surface of the desk allocated to me at The Gleaner's 7 North Street, Kingston offices, a couple weeks ago. However, should you...

Published:Sunday | July 23, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

Today, July 23, is the 125th birthday of HIM Haile Selassie.Sizzla is one of those who has recorded the monarch's coronation date in song. It is included in Mash Dem Down, on the 2002 album Da Real Thing.Mash Dem Down, a song of faith in the...

Published:Thursday | July 20, 2017 | 7:03 AMMel Cooke

Kingsley 'King Omar' Goodison got a first-hand view of Jamaican popular music in the making from his childhood family home on Studley Park Road, St Andrew. He describes it as being a major gateway to a number of communities, among them Craig Town,...

Published:Sunday | July 16, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

The Sunday Gleaner recently spent a few hours with deejay Peter Metro, talking about his life in music. The songs have been many and the experiences varied,including making Cockney and Yardie. Officially, Jamaica and England share the same language...

Published:Sunday | July 16, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

While Jamaica prepares to officially observe 55 years of political independence, Professor Mervyn Morris can also use August 6, 1962, as a marker for reflection on a markedly shorter time span. His stint as Jamaica's Poet Laureate - the first since...

Published:Friday | July 14, 2017 | 7:06 PMMel Cooke

Isn't it funny, how we can use 'funny' in so many ways? There is funny, as in strange or out of the norm, like when a woman says, 'it funny how Mark start come home late every Friday') and there is funny as in homosexual male (so we can get a...

Published:Friday | July 14, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

For three consecutive evenings, today until Sunday, The Nexus Performing Arts Company of Jamaica will deliver its 2017 season with a title which is partly incongruous for an ensemble which presents music from several genres in myriad forms. For...

Published:Thursday | July 13, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

In the era of the smartphone, the cellular phone, which cannot go online, is dismissed as the banger. But while the Samsung Galaxy, iPhone and other high-end models are prized, in his humorous way, deejay Peter Metro has recorded high praises for...

Published:Sunday | July 9, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

Peter Metro emphatically describes Police Inna England as his biggest song. The song details an encounter with the police in England, and Peter Metro includes lines where he imitates a British accent, as he imitates the police's instructions....

Published:Sunday | July 9, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

The Sunday Gleaner spent several hours with Peter Metro recently, the deejay physically and verbally retracing the steps that have taken him to a a life in music from 1981 until now. From Kilamanjaro's Whitehall venue studio to his childhood home in...

Published:Saturday | July 8, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

There is a way in which performers of the popular art are taken to be 'different' because they express in words or images extremes of what is already seen as normal.So they are somehow deemed 'revolutionary' because they take what is already...

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 7:09 AMMel Cooke

As far as marking anniversaries goes, tomorrow's Startime concert at the National Arena could hardly have been better timed. For while the US group famed for its heart-tugging songs such as Kiss and Say Goodbye, We Never Danced to a Love Song and...

Published:Thursday | July 6, 2017 | 7:08 AMMel Cooke

Being touched by the Holy Spirit has not dampened the comedic spirit of Owen 'Blakka' Ellis, who recently publicly declared his growth into Christianity. The two rest easily in the same vessel for, as Ellis told The Gleaner, "God has a sense of...

Published:Sunday | July 2, 2017 | 7:00 AMMel Cooke

Mad Cobra's Flex was an aberration in dancehall when it came out in 1992. The ultra-smooth R...

Published:Saturday | July 1, 2017 | 7:31 AMMel Cooke

I had reason yesterday to read a bit about this year’s renewal of the annual Reggae on the Rover festival in California from August 3 - 6. What caught my attention was not so much the line-up (although Agent Sasco, Sly and...

Published:Tuesday | June 27, 2017 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke

Ahead of the organisation's 20th anniversary gathering (called a 'sit-in') of the Vinyl Records Collectors Association (VRCA) in St Andrew and St Catherine late last month, the organisation's Michael 'Louis' Owens dismissed any misconceptions of...

Published:Saturday | June 24, 2017 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke

As the country's murder rate reaches gastronomical (yes, I meant gastronomical and not astronomical, as we are full to overflowing and totally fed up), I have waited for someone to get up and point the finger at the usual culprit, Jamaican popular...

Published:Sunday | June 18, 2017 | 6:03 AMMel Cooke

"To all you wonderful dads out there, y'nuhAlthough more time some a we deadbeat, y'nuhA Khago, y'nuhHey, dad,This one is reaching out to youYou never no sperm donorDaddy, from you goneMe know me did a go struggleMe know sey me did a go struggleMy...

Published:Saturday | June 17, 2017 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke

One day a few years ago, I stood outside the Afrique pub on the lower part of King Street, downtown Kingston, and heard King Stitt talk about having to run from the police when he was playing sound systems in the earlier days of Jamaican popular...

Published:Friday | June 16, 2017 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke

During Wednesday evening's listening session for Chronology at Anchor Studios, Chronixx said that he was at all the recoding and mixing sessions for his debut album. Based on the credits he read for just two of the songs, then saying he knows all...

Published:Wednesday | June 14, 2017 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke

In 1977, Marjorie Kay won a talent contest at the Spider Web on Eastwood Park Road, St Andrew, which led to her singing with the club's resident band. She had revisited that decade for her latest single, Visions, a remake of the Stevie Wonder...

Published:Sunday | June 11, 2017 | 6:00 AMMel Cooke

Jamaican popular music is replete with songs for mothers by male performers, a strong indication of the dominant maternal role in their lives. Shabba Ranks' Mama Christie and Bounty Killer's Miss Ivy are as much a part of dancehall lore as a...

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2017 | 6:07 AMMel Cooke

There was a time when making a song meant assembling a band of musicians, rehearsing what was to be played (along with the vocalist), then playing it through all at once because there was no way to correct mistakes put on the tape.Over time, the...

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